Bank Rate reduced by 0.5 Percentage Points to 0.5% and £75 bn Asset Purchase Programme announced

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to reduce the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves by 0.5 percentage points to 0.5%, and to undertake a programme of asset purchases of £75 billion financed by the issuance of central bank reserves.
Published on 05 March 2009

World activity continued to weaken, reflecting both depressed confidence and the persistent problems in international credit markets. In the United Kingdom, output dropped sharply in the fourth quarter of 2008. That reflected lower consumer spending, a further fall in business investment and a rapid run-down in stocks, in part offset by stronger net exports as the past depreciation of sterling began to take effect. Business surveys continue to point to a similar rate of contraction in the early part of this year. Unemployment has risen markedly. Credit conditions faced by companies and households remain tight.

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